The overarching doubt to Manny Machado is simple: Why?
It usually relates to so many situations this October.
Why not run tough on a groundball in a tie diversion during a National League Championship Series that your Los Angeles Dodgers trailed one diversion to none? Why, then, slip questionably into second base, creation fans and opponents consternation about your intent?
And some-more than all that: Why in a world flog Milwaukee initial baseman Jesus Aguilar as we crossed a bag in a 10th inning of Tuesday night’s Game 4, that eventually finished in a Dodgers’ feat that evened a series?
“I was perplexing to get over him and strike his foot,” Machado told reporters afterward. “If that’s dirty, that’s dirty.”
Let’s parse a details of a play for a minute. Watch a replay. Aguilar’s right feet was on a corner of a bag as he prepared to take a throw. Machado did not “try” to lift his left feet over Aguilar’s foot. He didn’t try during all. Rather, he looked down, and dragged his feet by Aguilar’s leg. Hard.
If that’s dirty, that’s dirty. And it’s dirty.
The screed by Milwaukee outfielder Christian Yelich that followed — “One time is an accident. Repeated over and over and over again, it’s a unwashed play. It’s a unwashed play by a unwashed player.” — was fitting and has weight, since Yelich is not usually a contemporary of Machado’s, though is a expected National League MVP, a actor with flourishing station in a game.
But behind to a strange question: Why would a actor of Machado’s capability and status emanate these situations?
Think of what Machado has during stake. He joins Bryce Harper as a preeminent giveaway agents of this offseason, and possibly or both could mangle a record for largest sum value of a ball agreement (Giancarlo Stanton’s $325 million) before subsequent open training. Machado is usually 26 — a age Harper incited Tuesday — and has a bulk of what could be a Hall of Fame career forward of him.
Kicking Aguilar in a fourth diversion of a NLCS is not going to establish possibly Machado gets $300 million or not. Neither is unwell to run out a grounder progressing in a series. Neither is throwing his spikes adult during second base.
But these are small pin pricks, aren’t they? And they supplement adult to something. Consider a integrate of things about a arriving offseason and a marketplace around Machado and Harper — who are intertwined in their giveaway agency, since not everybody can means possibly of them, so they expected will share some suitors.
At a finish of a unchanging season, Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo, in explaining since his group would like to keep Harper, characterized a analysis this way: “With these form of deals, you’re not betting on a ball player. You’re betting on a person.”
Rizzo used Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer, owners of a past dual National League Cy Young awards, as an example. Washington sealed Scherzer to a seven-year, $210-million understanding since of his stuff, sure. But they also knew about Scherzer’s joining to preparation, his bid any time he takes a mound, and his change in a clubhouse.
What if a events of a past week make one meddlesome front bureau demeanour during Machado and say, “Wait a second. Who would we be removing here?” Might questions about on-field conduct lead to inquiries about how he handles himself in a clubhouse? When you’re potentially spending $300 million of an owner’s money, we need to be means to go to a owners and contend confidently, “We know who we’re getting, and you’ll be thrilled.”
About a owners: Yes, Machado (and Harper) will be accessible to any of a 30 teams once giveaway group arrives shortly after a tighten of a World Series. But that doesn’t meant 30 teams will expostulate a bidding.
A reasonable comment of intensity possibilities for Machado’s services: a Dodgers, who traded for him with Baltimore midseason and for whom income is no emanate (but will also get unchanging shortstop Corey Seager behind from damage subsequent year); a Phillies, who have been primed to spend this offseason; a Yankees, who usually mislaid starting shortstop Didi Gregorius to Tommy John surgery; a Cubs, who have questions during shortstop following Addison Russell’s cessation for domestic violence; and maybe a Giants, who need to inject their register with girl and athleticism and could play Machado during third, where he spent many of his career with a Orioles.
Add on another group or two. But a indicate is this: Machado isn’t a intensity fit, financially or personnel-wise, for even 10 teams. And if one of a owners whose bar is in position with a ledgers and a register to pointer Machado watched a 10th inning Tuesday night, saw Machado flog Aguilar, and says to his ubiquitous manager, “Who needs this?”, well, then, that’s one fewer bar that competence expostulate adult a bidding.
The National League Championship Series is tied during dual games apiece. There’s a reasonable possibility Machado, who is 8 for his final 22 over 5 games, will have an impact on who wins it.
But even if he does, won’t a biggest doubt about him entrance out of a array be: Why a heck, Manny, do we do a nonessential things we do?